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From the Folkestone Herald Published 13 April 2000

Bikers’ dinner.

FOR YEARS Folkestone has had a strongly-supported Motor Cycle Club and this week by popular request, as they say, I am featuring a picture supplied by local history enthusiast Alan Taylor, courtesy of owner Bill Hopkins.

Motor Cycle Club dinner

The photograph is a souvenir of the Club’s annual dinner and dance at the Wampach Hotel in 1950.

Mr Hopkins, of Stanbury Crescent has supplied many of the names of the members and guests.

Front row, left to right, are John Mounston, Phyllis Mounston, Jim Taylor and Maisie Taylor; second row, third from left Doreen Spanswick, Bill Hopkins, George Hagger, Mrs Jenner, Bert Jenner; third row, 2nd left Jock Hitchcock, 4th left Peter Marx, 6th ‘Jock’ Stanners, Mr Gibbons, Rennie Gibbons, Mrs Tozer, Brian Tozer; fourth row, Mrs Pearl-man, Dr Pearlman, Peter Hopkins, Regina Hopkins, Mrs Rumbold, Frank Rumbold, Banks, Monty Banks (who I had pleasure watching on the grass track circuit for several seasons, first as a young cub reporter and later a riding enthusiast, but not a racer); fifth row 4th left Mrs Holman, Bob Holman; sixth row, Mr Les Jones (Herald editor who X recall joining on a press trip to Liege from Lydd airport as a young reporter representing the Dover Express), 5th from left George Taverner, 7th left Eddie Ready; seventh row, Rob Wiltshire.

Thereafter the faces get too small and it is a trifle confusing without making the picture a lot bigger, but Mr Hopkins has also been able to identify June Waters, Bob Waters, Bob Hockley and Philip Bowles.


Among many readers—of Memories who have been in touch with me recently was Mrs Patricia Newman who lives at Walton Manor Close a development which was built on the site of the ancient farm part of which is shown below.

Tilling Stevenson coaches 1920

BRAND new Tilling Stevens coaches, five of them no less, added to the fleet of the still fledgling East Kent Road Car Company in 1920. The photograph was shown to me by local author and historian Alan Taylor and was published in his book Folkestone, A Second Selection, based on pictures in his collection and that of fellow local history enthusiast Eamonn Rooney. The charabancs are pictured in Canterbury Road, outside the ancient Walton Manor Farm.


The farm, known latterly as Snape’s and Leslie’s Farm, stood near the junction of what is now a very busy roundabout at the junction with Churchill Avenue and Hill Road.

Mrs Newman was interested in obtaining a picture of it and wondered if any reader of Memories had any pictures of the farm.

May be someone will come up with a different view of the old farm. If so, like Mrs Newman, I would be pleased to see it and publish it!

The farm was one of the oldest in the area, and it is referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1095 it belonged to the Manor of Folkestone. All traces seem to have disappeared in the 1960s prior to building Walton Manor Close. Some were glad to be rid of the smell of pigs!

AJS Porcupine

PART of the historic bike collection of Tom Arter, of Barham is being sold by Brooks at Stafford on April 16. Call Brooks on 020 7228 8000 for more details of this exciting auction sale.

Derek Minter in an AJS 'Porcupine@ to be sold in a Brooks sale next week.



Private trams venture given ‘thumbs down’.

WAS unanimously agreed at a public meeting to oppose the private venture to open a tram system In the town after a pledge from the mayor that the Council would seek powers to run a tramway system Itself - although there seemed some doubt whether there would be a service for the west end of town where people opposed tram tracks on ‘their’ roads, and the mayor admitted he had no love of trams. He did not want to see some of the town’s “best roads being cut up by tramlines," he said. The matter was also debated at a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and the company promoting the scheme also held a public meeting. At each meeting it was stated that the proposal was for a light railway of the same gauge as the main lines which meant goods traffic, Including ‘fish offal' might be carried through the streets, stated one councillor! This may explain why there was so much agreement about opposing the private scheme. The Folkestone Express delivered a blistering attack on the Council over failure to back the private tramway venture. It said the company had been treated by the council with scant courtesy and even “vulgar abuse.”



Make road fit memorial to war heroes, urges ‘Felix’.

WRITER Felix was calling for improved care and planting on both sides of the Road of Remembrance to make it a better memorial to the brave heroes it commemorated. It deserved to be made worthy not only of the town but of England and the Empire, he wrote. How things have changed - Felix, writing in the week ending April 18, 1925, recorded that “On Thursday last week no less than 40 express trains (up and down) having to do with continental traffic, passed through the Central Station. Each train was loaded mainly with Easter holidaymakers.” That was fine for Folkestone but Felix was wondering why more of them didn’t stay and explore the beautiful places of England. He went on to speak of the growing number of coastal excursions by coach. Maltby's Ltd, Motors, with garages in Sandgate, Folkestone, Hythe and Canterbury, was advertising a new wonder product for repainting cars. It claimed that It took only a third of the time to apply, its appearance improved with time, it would not scratch, flake or fade, was unaffected by heat, rain, tar, mud, petrol or grease, which could be wiped off with a dry rag. The ‘miracle’ was called a Dupont finish and It cost no more than ordinary paint. Presumably this was cellulose - but were those claims really justified?!!



War damaged harbour property crashes down.

PE0PLE living in the harbour area were awakened In the early hours one morning by a loud crash as the front of a three-storey bombed building in Harbour Street collapsed on to the pavement. Patrolling PC Saunders found tons of rubble across the path and a large unsupported piece of roof in danger of crashing down. Later In the day the road was closed while the building was made safe and adjoining buildings checked for any signs of more danger. One neighbour told how the derelict buildings were a favourite playground for trespassing children who could be In serious danger. Council elections were round the corner and the Herald reported that at least five seats were expected to be contested. Seven of nine retiring councillors were seeking reflection and four remained unopposed in mid-April. Picture feature and ‘Memories' story of the week put the spotlight on the popular Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. The feature traced Its early beginnings as the dreamchild of two young racing motorists, who, as we know were Capt John Howey and Count Zborowski, of Polish extraction, both of whom had a love of steam -and railways. Their dream resulted in the opening of the world’s smallest public railway, linking Hythe and Littlestone. The line was opened by Earl Beauchamp, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, in 1926.



Local depression blamed for Shepway crime wave.

POLICE boost detection rate.... but record crime upsurge hits depressed Shepway. These were the headlines on a Herald front page lead story suggesting declining living standards were forcing more people to turn to crime. Over 2,740 crimes were reported, a massive 25% increase on the previous year. And angry publicans in the district warned that pub violence could snowball unless the magistrates took a tougher line with offenders, as they hit out at leniency in the courts. This followed a 10 fine for an electrician from out of town for maliciously wounding a landlord who tried to throw him out “This 10 is like a parking fine," commented the secretary of the licensed victuallers' association. Some police officers believed the soaring crime rate was due to the fact that Shepway was becoming a depressed area. Unemployment was the second highest in Kent, wages lower than the national average and there was an acute housing problem. Thousands were without a secure home and many living in sub-standard conditions, It was claimed. One officer said “This is the pattern in the coastal strip from Thanet to Shepway.” At the same time the local police cleared up one out of every two crimes to give them the third highest detection rate In the county. Thefts from parked cars rose sharply and arson in unoccupied property gave cause for concern. Vandalism had spread into Romney Marsh.


If anyone should have any a better picture than any on this page, or think I should add one they have, please email me at the following address:-